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Team NCNA makes the move to Coniston
2022-01-05
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Perhaps there will now be stars, young and old, throughout the building that was once the old Club Allegri in Coniston.

While the venue has been the home of BRB Studio for just over a year now, Nickel City Ninja Academy owner and coach Patrick Drolet has confirmed that he and his crew will be moving in to the space not occupied by the company that supports the northern Ontario film industry, ideally as early as mid-March.

"We're at 120 kids now, almost triple the number of kids that we started with, which is amazing," said Drolet, who had tapped into a more restrictive, but helpful nonetheless, set of accomodations at the Baseball Academy off Lorne Street.

The benefits of the new venue go far beyond just the additional space.

"We might have people coming into town who do stunts in the movies and they may get an opportunity to train with us as well," said Drolet. As he has right from the start of his involvement in parkour and the ensuing derivatives, the 28 year-old former gymnast envisions a whole variety of end users for his gym.

"It's a lot like gymnastics, perhaps a little different, skill-wise," said Drolet. "We have a lot of hockey teams that will come in for training with upper bodies, their core strength, their balance."

Yet it is Team NCNA, the youngsters involved in the sport itself, that really sparks the flame for the young entrepreneur.

"The ninja community is really different and really cool," he stated. "We train as a team, but going into competitions, it is individual. But you tend not to compete against the person next to you as you compete more against the course and a time."

"At the end of the day, just getting through the course is the goal. I always tell the kids: let's defeat the course, let's beat the obstacles that are ahead of us. Everyone cheers you on when you are trying to get through the course."

"It's different than almost any other sport I know."

The group currently has three teams of twelve, most of whom hope to hit the ground running once Drolet and company are into their new digs, with preliminary plans for a Sudbury event (Sudbury Ultimate Ninja Warrior) in March or April.

Moreover, Drolet is looking to host a circuit event as part of the Canadian Ninja League, drawing competitors from across the province to the north. And on a more personal level, he is looking to attend a set of World Championships, having finished in the top five in his past three competitions.

"There are no first place finishes yet, so I still have some things that I want to work on."

Come March, he will be looking to do just that, in Coniston, along with all of the other stars in the building.

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